BBC: Newly moderate Taliban's amnesty going about as well as expected

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Over the past few weeks the Taliban has made a lot of promises about respecting the rights of girls and women and about offering amnesty to anyone who worked with the previous US-backed administration. But the BBC reports those promises may not be holding up very well. There is already some evidence the Taliban are harassing and murdering anyone they consider a traitor.

Sources inside Afghanistan, as well as some who recently fled, have told the BBC that Taliban fighters are searching for, and allegedly killing, people they pledged they would leave in peace.

Several sources confirmed that Taliban fighters last week executed two senior police officials – Haji Mullah Achakzai, the security director of Badghis province, and Ghulam Sakhi Akbari, security director of Farah province. Video footage showed Mr Achakzai was kneeling, blindfolded, with his hands tied behind his back before he was shot…

A former Afghan special forces soldier still inside the country told the BBC that he and his family were in hiding after former colleagues were killed.

“Since the Taliban have come to power they haven’t stopped killing,” he said. “A few days ago, they killed twelve members of the special forces in Kandahar and three soldiers in Jalalabad as well. They were my close friends. I was in touch with them. The Taliban took them out of their homes and shot them.”

Prominent women also are in danger. Prior to the Taliban takeover there were women serving in the police force. The New York Post has a story today about a deputy chief of police who wasn’t able to escape the country and was beaten by the Taliban when she tried to get to the airport.

Gulafroz Ebtekar, who rose through the ranks to become deputy chief of criminal investigations, had been a visible face in the media, East2West News reported…

“I spent five nights at the gates of Kabul airport without water or bread, in a rain of bullets and surrounded by the Taliban,” she said. “I witnessed the death of children and women.

When she later went home, her mother told her that the Taliban had come for her while she was out, so she moved to the first of three apartments she has been using to try to evade the militants.

And when she tried to head to the airport again, she said, Taliban guards beat her.

Last week a former translator told Fox News the Taliban were ramping up executions outside of Kabul even before the US left the country.

“They are not doing really bad stuff in Kabul right now because there’s a lot of media focus on Kabul, but they already started public execution in other provinces where a lot of media is not available or covering it,” the interpreter said.

“They started hunting down people in other provinces and they just executed a police officer yesterday and they did public hangings of four officers like last week… they are retaliating against people who sided with the U.S. and now the U.S. is leaving them behind.”

Finally, there’s an audio recording which an unnamed US source said shows the Taliban were executing people soon after the departure of the last Americans from the Kabul airport.

You can’t actually see what is happening in this clip but the idea of the Taliban going on a murder spree the moment we leave isn’t exactly hard to imagine.